**Today’s post is being shared with the Bloggers Unite community in honor of Prematurity Awareness Day. Help us celebrate and commemorate those born too soon, those who have endured countless struggles, and those whose struggles ended in peace.**
Most of you who read this blog regularly (yes, all 5 or so of you) know by now that Rachel and Claire were born 9 weeks premature due to my battle with severe preeclampsia. They spent 5 weeks in the NICU, needed very little respiratory help, and mainly needed to feed and grow.
We were, and still are, very, very fortunate.
Now that R & C are 2 and a half, I feel I have put those days behind me. The book has been placed on the shelf. It will always be there in case I want to pull it down and relive the memories, but we’ve turned that corner.
In honor of Prematurity Awareness Day, I need to tell you about a tiny little girl named Schylur Martin who is writing her own book right now.
My good friend Reba contacted me a couple of weeks ago because her brother Joey’s wife was admitted to the hospital with gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. She was 29 weeks pregnant. I first met Joey years ago when he was 15, so even though I’ve seen him grow up throughout the years, I’m having a hard time grasping the fact that he’s 21, married, and expecting a baby.
Joey and Alyssa live in California, away from Joey’s close knit family and most of his friends. Reba had called me to try and gain a sense of what they might be going through, since I had endured an almost identical situation, minus the diabetes. I gave her some insight as to how Alyssa might be feeling (lonely, helpless, feelings of guilt), and what they should do to mentally prepare themselves for a delivery that would likely come much earlier than they expected, like tour the NICU and gain as much info as possible on the baby’s possible situation at birth.
I emailed the couple to tell them my story, let them know that I’ve been there, and reassure them that they will make it through. I thought of them and prayed for them often.
Today I found out that Schylur entered the world on November 5, weighing 2lbs, 7oz. Alyssa’s kidney’s started shutting down, and they performed an emergency C-section. It sounded all too familiar. So far the baby is doing really well and breathing on her own, which is absolutely amazing.
I know right now that Schylur’s parents are scared. Overwhelmed. The eerie quiet of the NICU, the low lights, the strange sounds. Meeting a new nurse just about every day. The medical jargon being thrown at them from every angle. Feeding tubes, bili lights, isolettes with blankets over them to mimic the darkness of the womb. Feeling helpless about their baby’s care, guilty for going home at night, and a little ticked off at that nurse who seemed less than compassionate.
They have a long way to go. But it gets better.
They’ll eventually learn to tune out the incessant beeping of the monitors that don’t belong to their baby. They’ll learn to maneuver around all of the wires and tubes to change a diaper that is all too big for their tiny baby’s body, even when it’s folded down at the waist and the tabs are completely overlapping. They’ll learn where everything in the NICU is and go grab it at will: rocking chair, pump, pillows, warm blankets. They’ll eagerly track her progress and learn to read her charts.
They’ll get to hold her skin to skin, feel her breath on their chest, listen to her sweet sounds as she sleeps soundly on them.
They’ll watch her grow and get strong.
Please send a prayer up tonight for little baby Schylur. Today we focus on the fight for preemies. Because they are too little to fight for themselves.